When Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, there were many people buried in the ruins. Some were found in cellars, as if they had gone there for security. Some were found in the upper rooms of buildings. But where was the Roman sentinel found? Standing at the city gate where he had been placed by the captain, with his hands still grasping his weapon. There, while the earth shook beneath him—there, while the floods of ashes and cinders covered him—he had stood at his post. And there, after a thousand years, was this faithful man still to be found. ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
Faithful progress in the Christian life is a necessity. We should get “better” as time goes on. This is illustrated by what many consider to be the greatest horse race ever run. When Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby, each successive quarter-mile in the race was run faster than the one before. The longer the race went, the faster the horse ran. ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
Do you apply the same standards of faithfulness to your Christian activities that you expect from other areas of your life?
If your car starts once every three tries, is it reliable?
If your paperboy skips delivery every Monday and Thursday, is he trustworthy?
If you don’t go to work once or twice a month, are you a loyal employee?
If you refrigerator stops working for a day or two every now and then, do you say, “Oh, well, it works most of the time”?
If your water heater provides an icy-cold shower every now and then, is it dependable?
If you miss a couple of loan payments every year, does the bank say, “Ten out of twelve isn’t bad”?
If you fail to worship God one or two Sundays a month, would you expect to be called a faithful Christian?
We expect faithfulness and reliability from things and other people. Does not God expect the same from us? The problem is that in our religious activities we see ourselves as volunteers rather than as duty bound (1 Cor.9). For a volunteer, almost anything seems acceptable. For a bondservant who is duty bound, faithfulness is expected (Matt. 25:21). ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
Benefit of Faithfulness
A Persian legend tells us that a certain king needed a faithful servant and had to choose between two candidates for the office. He took both at fixed wages and told them to fill a basket with water from a nearby well, saying that he would come in the evening to inspect their work. After dumping one or two buckets of water into the basket, one of the men said, “What is the good of doing this useless work? As soon as we pour the water in, it runs out the sides.”
The other answered, “But we have our wages, haven’t we? The use is the master’s business, not ours.”
“I’m not going to do such fool’s work,” replied the complainer. Throwing down his bucket, he went away.
The other man continued until he had drained the well. Looking down into it, he saw something shining at the bottom that proved to be a diamond ring. “Now I see the use of pouring water into the basket!” he exclaimed. “If the bucket had brought up the ring before the well was dry, it would have been found in the basket. Our work was not useless.”
When God’s blessing does not fully coincide with your expectations, remember to wait until the well is dry. There may be something precious at the bottom. ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》